Preview and Weekend Thread: Oklahoma State vs. Texas Tech

#18 Texas Tech Red Raiders host the #9 Oklahoma State Cowboys in the biggest series of the year. Preview after the jump.

Oklahoma State vs. Texas Tech

Photo via Charles Henry @ Flickr

Series Details:

Dates: Friday, April 24th – Saturday, April 26th
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (26-15, 9-6)
Bad Guys: Oklahoma State Cowboys (27-13, 10-5)
Location: Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park | Lubbock, TX
Game Notes: PDF
TV/Stream: Friday – FOX College Sports-Atlantic; Sunday – FOX College Sports-Pacific
Radio/Stream: Broadcast Affiliates and TuneIn App

Here we go. This is a huge series and one that should be terrific. Oklahoma State is at the top of the Big 12 standings and Texas Tech is right there, looking up and hoping to catch the Cowboys. The Cowboys are hitting .287 overall, which is good for third in the Big 12 and are slugging at a clip of .423, which is good for second in the Big 12. Plenty of pop and certainly hitting for near average. Where OSU shines is on the pitching side of things, where the staff has an ERA of 2.76 overall, second in the Big 12, and is allowing teams to only hit .234 on the year. OSU is a team that isn’t going to walk a ton of batters and are third in the Big 12 in strikeouts. OF Corey Hassel leads OSU in hitting at .328 with a .487 slugging and OF/C Gage Green is hitting .304 and slugging .449. Michael Freeman is the team’s ace, 6-2 overall with a 1.31 ERA and Jon Perrin appears the next best starter with a 4-3 record and an ERA of 3.58.

I’m probably being too optimistic here, but I think Texas Tech needs to take 2 of 3 as they’re at home and they’ll be on the road in Austin next week and in Morgantown the next week.  This sets up to be a pretty big deal.

Probable Starters:

Game 1: Friday, April 24th @ 6:30 pm
Texas Tech Starting Pitcher: RHP Ryan Moseley (3-4, 3.28)
Oklahoma State Starting Pitcher: RHP Jon Perrin (4-3, 3.58)
Final Score & Box Score: Texas Tech 5, Oklahoma State 3 (recap and box score)

This was one heck of a game by the good guys, including plating two runs in the first inning to take a two run lead and then scoring one run in the 5th and 6th innings only to see Oklahoma State score a run in the 5th and two in the 8th to make things interesting. Texas Tech held on for the last inning, including a run of their own in the bottom of the 8th and there’s your 5-3 win.

In the first inning, Zach Davis and Tanner Gardner started the game with walks, while Steven Smith bunted the runners ahead. Eric Gutierrez singled through the left side scoring both Davis and Gardner. In the 5th inning, Smith his a sac-fly scoring Tyler Floyd, who walked to get on base. In the 6th inning, Tyler Neslony doubled and reached third on a Gutierrez groundout, while Corey Raley knocked in Neslony on a fielder’s choice. In the 8th, it was a terrific scenario as Michael Davis doubled to left center and ended up advancing to third from an Orlando Garcia bunt. Zach Davis then bunted down the first base line to score Michael Davis for the 5th run of the game.

Ryan Moseley pitched a gem, going 7 innings, allowing only 6 hits and 1 run, while walking 1 and striking out 7. Dylan Dusek did get in the game, which means you won’t see him the rest of the series (or at least not until Sunday) as he struggled with getting runners out, only going 0.2 innings, giving up 3 hits, walking 1. Dominic Moreno earns the save, by going 1.1 innings, allowing 1 hit and striking out 3.

Game 2: Saturday, April 25th @ 2:00 pm
Texas Tech Starting Pitcher: LHP Cameron Smith (5-2, 2.40)
Oklahoma State Starting Pitcher: LHP Michael Freeman (6-2, 1.31)
Final Score & Box Score: Oklahoma State 8, Texas Tech 2 (recap and box score)

This one didn’t go so well for the good guys. Oklahoma STate was on-point as far as their pitching was concerned and the Cowboys nibbled away at Texas Tech in inning after inning.

Cameron Smith is apparently human as he pitched 5.2 innings, allowing 8 hits, 5 runs, all earned, walking 2 and striking out 6. And actually, I think the damage could have been much worse, leaving 2 on base in the 5th before he ended the inning and he left a bit of a mess on base in the 6th inning. Smith had 2 outs in the sixth and the wheels then started to fall off as he walked a batter, then a single, a stolen base and another single and before you could blink, two runs scored.

Texas Tech did score two runs, but they were largely inconsequential. Texas Tech did have a few opportunities, in that sixth inning, but couldn’t muster much of anything. Stephen Smith went 2 for 4 and had the only multi-hit game.

Game 3: Sunday, April 26th @ 2:00 pm
Texas Tech Starting Pitcher: TBA
Oklahoma Starting Pitcher: LHP Tyler Nurdin (2-2, 2.33)
Final Score & Box Score: Oklahoma State 6, Texas Tech 3 (recap and box score)

Before the game, it was supposed to be Corey Taylor who was going to start the game and he was apparently scratched right before first pitch. So, I guess, in some sense, I’m pretty impressed that Texas Tech kept it within 3 runs for the most part. So what we had was a cobbled together bullpen start where head coach had a short leash for most of the game, although Matt Withrow pitched the longest, going 4 innings, but giving up 4 earned runs. Jacob Patterson got the start, but lasted only an inning and as soon as he entered the game in the second, he hit a batter and was yanked. Then, Quinn Carpenter got in the game and it was a comedy of errors as the runner that was hit, stole second, then Carpenter walked two batters, loading the bases and then Withrow had to come in and minimize the damage.

In the 4th, Oklahoma State homered to start the inning and then homered with a man on and that’s all she wrote.

At the plate, Texas Tech couldn’t muster much of anything, although Tyler Neslony was 3-4 with all three RBI, one of those RBI coming off of a home run and another by a hit-by pitch.

Don’t be too down here, now, for whatever reason, Texas Tech is without it’s best pitcher this year in Corey Taylor and the best pitcher from last year, Dylan Dusek, who apparently has some blister problems. Not having your two best pitchers, but taking at least one game says a bit of something. And pitching at the college level is like anything else, there isn’t a huge wealth of arms just sitting on the bench who can get out batters better than Taylor or Dusek (last year’s version).


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